Past Season 2008-2009

Thursday, September 11th, Nayan Chanda on “From Coffee to iPod: Tales of Globalization”. A sweeping look at the rise of globalization through history. Please join us as we kick off the 2008-09 MMGF slate of events with our special guest, Nayan Chanda, a distinguished expert on globalization.


Friday, October 3rd, Qiam Amiry, “Student from Afghanistan Makes a Difference”. Amiry will speak about how the opportunity to attend the United World College program led him to study at Colby. Wanting to help other students from Afghanistan, Qiam returned home during the summer of 2007 and worked to get his country’s government to allow two students to attend school at Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine. He will describe his efforts and the results of his quest. Qiam will also take questions about his trip home this past summer.


Wednesday, November 12th, 7 pm, Colby Oak Fellow Afsan Chowdhury introduces and answers questions about his film, “Who Cares If Bangladesh Drowns?”, Railroad Square Cinema ($7.50). No one is more immediately threated by global warming than Bangladesh, which stands to be literally submerged if the rising of ocean waters caused by the melting of polar ice caps continues.


Wednesday, February 11th, Janette Bulkan and John Palmer, “Hand in tiger mouth” — Forest management and mismanagement in Guyana and Maine. What is the meaning and relevance of the Guyanese proverb “Hand in tiger mouth?” What can happen when Jeffersonian concepts of the separation of powers in government are set aside by the State acting as a vehicle for criminal enterprise in Guyana? What are the consequences of the pursuit of private profit by a dominant industry? How does it affect civil society in Maine?


Wednesday, February 25th, Cynthia Thomashow, “Climate Change — at the Local Level”. Against the backdrop of the global issues of climate change, Cindy Thomashow will consider the question, “What can individuals and local organizations do to help address these problems?” As the Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Education at Unity College, Cindy has some answers for you. She has worked with Al Gore and is an expert on the “inconvenient truth.” At Unity Ms. Thomashow directs a program using green buildings as educational platforms to teach about sustainability and lowering our carbon footprint.


Wednesday, March 18th, 7 pm at Railroad Square Cinema, Juan Mandelbaum and his film, “Our Disappeared” “Through a casual Google search, director Juan Mandelbaum finds out that Patricia, a long lost girlfriend from Argentina, is among the thousands who were kidnapped, tortured and then ‘disappeared’ by the military during the 1976-1983 dictatorship. Juan embarks on a journey to find out what happened to her and others he knew who disappeared and re-examines his own choices.” (from the website: www.ourdisappeared.com). Q & A with Mandelbaum will follow the film. Admission $7.50. Free for high schools students with ID.


Tuesday, April 21st at 12:30, Dr. John van Wyhe, “Mind the Gap!” This is the bicentennial year of Charles Darwin’s birth and Dr. van Wyhe, an historian of science at the University of Cambridge and the founder and director of Darwin Online, is visiting Maine as part of a series of lectures in the United States. Van Wyhe’s recent research has challenged the long-held view that Darwin held back or kept his theory secret for 20 years (Darwin’s delay).


Monday, May 4th at 9:00 am, Hassan Bility, “Standing up for Human Rights”, at the Williamson Arts and Technology Center, Lawrence Junior/Senior High School, Fairfield. Unfortunately, Bility, editor of the local independent daily “The Analyst” in Monrovia, Liberia and a lead witness at the trial of Charles Taylor at the Hague, was unable to appear. Instead, Steve Knight (Lawrence High School) and a representative of Amnesty International made a presentation and led a discussion with students.


Thursday, June 18th, Robert Rotberg, “Stealth Democracy: Zimbabwe and the So-Called Unity Government”. Professor Rotberg is Director of the Program on Intrastate Conflict at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, President of the World Peace Foundation, and a long-time friend of C. Sylvester Whitaker, Jr., to whom this program is dedicated. Syl, who passed away this winter after a battle with cancer, had a distinguished career as a scholar, teacher, and administrator. He was the first African-American male to graduate from Swarthmore College (in 1956) and the first African American to earn a PhD in Political Science from Princeton University (in 1962). His work on the emirates of northern Nigeria set the standard for scholarship in Nigeria, and remains essential reading for those who study political development, political change, and issues of democratization. We were privileged to have Syl on the board of directors of the MMGF and we miss him.


Thursday, July 23rd, 2009, Annual Dinner at Colby’s Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center, with Keynote address by Richard Vietor on “How Countries Compete: the role of government in national development strategies during the global economics crisis”. 6:15 Wine/Beer Reception, 7:00 Dinner.